It might just be the best ticket in town. Hop on at Brooke Street Pier, in half an hour, hop off at MONA. For 22 bucks you get a boat ride down the River Derwent. For 55 bucks you upgrade to a private deck, complimentary drinks and canapes.
There are a number of options for getting to MONA but the others won’t top up your champs when it’s low tide in your glass.
The Lovely Deputy and This Girl were off to birthday lunch (mine…Happy Birthday to me!) at the new tapas bar. As a regular in the Posh Pit, the Lovely Deputy suggested I give it a go. It seemed like the perfect way to start a celebration.
The Derwent is iconic Hobart and choosing the MONA ferry experience ticks off two Tassie tourist experiences. And even though locals see the beautiful river daily, it’s really not the same as enjoying being on its waters.
The Posh Pit is MONA on the water, black walls, black leather upholstery, crew dressed in metal grey overalls.
Sparkling, wine or beer is waiting for you on your arrival from welcoming staff. Like our hostess said to us, if you have to pour beer for someone else, it might as well be in the Posh Pit on the River Derwent.
The bar’s perimeter is lined with little lounge enclaves and there are a few larger tables for bigger groups. On our trip the ferry was mostly tourists, with a few local party-goers thrown in; Happy Birthday to me and a hen’s event, so it was fairly relaxed with casual chatting between guests. Lubricated by wine, this turned to more substantial conversation on our return.
Ten minutes into the trip a plate of canapes appeared. I’m not talking Devils on Horsebacks or curried eggs. It was quality – salmon spread, pork belly, fig bread. My old mum would say, ‘Not to be sneezed at.’ On the return, it was petit fours which were mostly chocolatey-goodness apart from a bad-banana something I quickly retrieved from my gob and passed to the Lovely Deputy to dispose of. Ick. I really do not like.
A little-less MONA-like was the en route commentary. A mic’d up staffer dutifully pointed out local land marks like the century-old zinc works. Nyrstar Hobart, better known to locals by it’s former name, ‘EZ’, got a mention for its polluting past. About that point, if you’d looked across the River you would have see Risdon Cove of course, the site of a significant conflict between Aboriginal Tasmanians and Europeans on 3 May 1804. The events of the day have been hotly contested and maybe they don’t want to take sides but as the driver behind the Macquarie Point Development’s Aboriginal Peace and Reconciliation Park, the absence of a reference to the area did not go unnoticed.
There are 99 steps and returning guests to greet you on your arrival, then you can take your time to explore MONA, do a cellar tour, relax on the lawns and get something to eat at any one of the four food outlets on site.
The ticket price was for one way or return at the time of publication. Check MONA’s website for updates and to book a ticket on line. Don’t forget there’s a museum entrance fee if you don’t have Tassie ID. For your convenience, and for the peeps waiting behind you, they do prefer you print your tickets out before you go to the boarding gate. The ticket stall in the pavilion will print them for you if you need a hand. You can get tickets there too.
The Three Capes track has some fantastic Aboriginal interpretation content although its boat trip has scope to improve.